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Hero Overview

You know what you are... what you're made of. War is in your blood. Don't fight it. You didn't kill for your country. You killed for yourself. God's never gonna make that go away. When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing.
~ John Rambo.
Live for nothing, or die for something.
~ John Rambo's famous quote.
You're dealing with an expert with guns, with knives, with his bare hands. Rambo was the best!
~ Colonel Trautman's description of Rambo

John James Rambo is the main protagonist of the Rambo film series as well as the novel First Blood.

He was played by Sylvester Stallone, who was well known for playing Rocky Balboa and Barney Ross. It should be noted that Rambo was a villain in the novel, he was adapted into a hero.



Rambo was born in 1947 in Arizona. He lost his mother at an early age to cancer. His father was a very abusive alcoholic who constantly beat Rambo. One day his father, in a drunken rage, attempted to stab his own so with a knife and Rambo was forced to shoot his father with a bow and arrow to defend himself, nearly killing the abusive drunkard. Rambo then ran away from his father and his home altogether.

After dropping out of high school and drifting from one meager job to another, Rambo enlisted the army (although he keeps on saying he was drafted).

Rambo's military service began in January 1966. Rambo was deployed to South Vietnam in September 1966 and had his first experience in combat. Rambo survived, and he returned to America in 1967 and due to his excellent and hardened physical condition and experience in combat, he became a Green Beret, began training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina under Colonel Trautman's tutelage. At some point in his military career he also received training in flying helicopters.

But in late 1969, Rambo was re-deployed to Vietnam as a member of Studies and Observations Group (SOG) brigade. He is involved in special forces' long-range reconnaissance patrol missions commanded by Colonel Trautman. Trautman's team received the code name of Baker Team and consisted of eight men. The other members were:

  • Delmore Barry - an African American operative who quickly became Rambo's best friend.
  • Joseph "Joey" Danforth - another close friend of Rambo. In an event that would haunt Rambo for the rest of his life, Danforth died in Rambo's arms after being fatally wounded by a rigged shoeshine box while their unit was on rest and recuperation time.
  • Manuel "Loco" Ortega
  • Paul Messner
  • Delbert Krackhauer
  • Giuseppe "Greasy Cunt" Colletta
  • Ralph Jorgenson

During a particular mission in November 1971 Rambo's team came under surprise attack by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA or Viet Minh). Delmore, Rambo and some other surviving members were captured by NVA near the Chinese-Vietnamese border and held at a POW camp, where many other American POWs were imprisoned and repeatedly subjected to incredibly brutal and inhumane tortures. Most of Rambo's captured team members perished during the ordeal; only Delmore and Rambo managed to escape captivity in May 1972 when there came a day security in prison camp was lax. Taking advantage of that Rambo and Delmore escaped. Astonishingly, when the pair escaped no Vietcongs were killed; it was as if they just disappeared. After being lost in the jungle for what seemed to be eternity, Rambo and Delmore were eventually rescued by US Army personnel. By his own request Rambo was immediately re-deployed afterwards.

Rambo finally received his official military discharge on September 17, 1974. It is speculated that he was discharged as a commissioned officer (judging from the crossed arrows insignia on the lapel of his Army Alpha Dress Green uniform, a clear indication of an officer, it is safe to assume that he was either a 1st Lieutenant or Captain).

First Blood

In 1982, Rambo made himself an enemy of Sheriff Will Teasle, the deputy of Hope, Washington. The war veteran got arrested for carrying a weapon, while the police don't know he is innocent. Worse still, Teasle severely mistreated Rambo and even made him looked like a villain he viewed the war veteran as. Rambo eventually cracked and escaped leading to him accidentally killing deputy Art Galt in self-defense in an ensuing battle. To compound the issue, Teasle gave Col. Sam Trautman, Rambo's mentor, a cold shoulder and adamant in his obsession to kill him.

In the final battle at police station, before he could kill Teasle, Rambo is stopped by Col. Trautman and gives in. During that time, Rambo eventually lashed out over horrors of war and awful fate of his comrades before weeps, revealing his vulnerable side. Showing remorse from his actions up until that point, he willingly surrenders himself to the police.

Rambo: First Blood Part II

After being sent to jail, he is released for an assignment in Vietnam to search for P.O.W.s. Instead of just searching, Rambo rescued a prisoner and tries to escape but Marshall Murdock betrays him and Rambo is captured. Rambo is taken before Col, Podovsky who demands that Murdock call off all rescue operations, but Rambo refuses to give in then attacks Podovsky and Yushin before escaping.

Later after Co and a number of Russians and Vietnamese are killed, Rambo rescues the prisoners then blows up Podovsky. Back at Murdock's base, Rambo warns, "You knows there's more of them out there. You know where they are. Find them, or I'll find YOU." to Murdock to rescue other P.O.W.s. Before leaving, Rambo tells his mentor, Trautman, he will live "Day by day".

Rambo III

Col. Trautman visits his old friend and ally John Rambo in Thailand. He explains that he is buildung a mercenary team for a CIA-sponsored mission to supply the Mujahideen and other tribes as they try to repel the Soviet Army in Afghanistan. Despite being shown photos of civilians suffering at the hands of the Soviet military, Rambo refuses to join, as he is tired of fighting. Trautman proceeds anyway and is ambushed by enemy forces near the border, resulting in all of his men being killed. Trautman is captured and sent to a large mountain base to be interrogated by Soviet Colonel Zaysen and his henchman Sergeant Kourov.

Robert Griggs informs Rambo of Trautman's capture but refuses to approve a rescue mission for fear of drawing the United States into the war. Aware that Trautman will die otherwise, Rambo gets permission to undertake a solo rescue on the condition that he will be disavowed in the event of capture or death. Rambo immediately flies to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he intends to convince arms dealer Mousa Ghani to bring him to Khost, the town closest to the Soviet base where Trautman is held captive.

The Mujahideen led by chieftain Masoud hesitate to help Rambo free Trautman. Meanwhile, a Soviet informant in Ghani's employ informs the Soviets, who send two helicopters to destroy the village. Though Rambo manages to destroy one of them with a turret, the rebels refuse to aid him any further. Aided only by Mousa and a young boy named Hamid, Rambo attacks the base and inflicts significant damage before being forced to retreat. Hamid, as well as Rambo, are wounded during the battle and Rambo sends him and Mousa away before resuming his infiltration.

Skillfully evading base security, Rambo reaches Trautman just as he is about to be tortured with a flamethrower. He and Trautman rescue several other prisoners and hijack a Hind gunship helicopter to escape the base. The helicopter is damaged during takeoff and quickly crashes, forcing the escapees to flee across the sand on foot. An attack helicopter pursues Rambo and Trautman to a nearby cave, where Rambo destroys it with an explosive arrow. A furious Zaysen sends Spetsnaz commandos under Kourov to kill them, but they are quickly routed and killed. An injured Kourov attacks Rambo with his bare hands, but is overcome and killed.

As Rambo and Trautman make their way to the Pakistani border, Zaysen and his forces surround them. But before the duo are overwhelmed, Masoud's Mujahideen forces attack the Soviets in a surprise cavalry charge. Despite being wounded, Rambo takes control of a tank and uses it to attack Zaysen's Hind gunship in a head-on battle with both vehicles firing high-calibre machine gun rounds, Rambo firing the tank's main gun and Zaysen unleashing volleys of the Hind's high explosive rockets and missiles. The final charge sees the two vehicles collide, but Rambo survives. At the end of the battle, Rambo and Trautman say goodbye to the Mujahideen and leave Afghanistan.


Rambo rescues a group of Christian missionaries that have been captured by the Burmese Military. He led a squad of mercenaries to infiltrate the Burmese army base camp where the missionaries were being held. 

The mercenaries successfully rescue all the missionaries and Rambo ended up killing Lt. Aye who was a drunk Burmese soldier who attempted to rape a missionary named Sarah Miller. Rambo killed the intoxicated man by ripping his throat out with his bare hands. In the morning, the Burmese army found out that the missionaries were missing and started a massive manhunt throughout the jungles of Burma. They eventually caught up to the group and recaptured the missionaries and mercenaries sent to rescue the missionaries.

But before the firing squad can finish off the group, Rambo hijacked a jeep mounted Browning M2 .50 cal machine gun and used it to mow down the entire army in a massive gunfight. After killing off the entire army with the help of the local Karen freedom fighters, Rambo spots Burmese Army commander Major Tint trying to run from his defeat. Rambo then caught up to him, jammed his machete into the man's stomach, sliced it open, and kicked the man down the hill causing his intestines to fall out, killing the last man of the Burmese Army, and saving the missionaries.

Rambo: Last Blood

Eleven years later, Vietnam War veteran John Rambo lives in Bowie, Arizona at his late father's horse ranch, which he manages with his old friend, Maria Beltran, and her granddaughter, Gabriela. Gabriela tells Rambo that a friend of hers, Gizelle, has found Gabriela's biological father, Miguel, in Mexico. Both Rambo and Maria tell her not to go to there, but Gabriela secretly drives there to ask why Miguel abandoned her and her mother years ago. Gizelle leads Gabriela to Miguel's apartment, where he coldly tells her that he never really cared for Gabriela or her mother.

Gizelle takes a heartbroken Gabriela to a nearby club, where Hugo and Victor Martinez together kidnap and hold Rambo's niece Gabrielle hostage in while in Mexico. Rambo travels to Mexico and interrogates both Miguel and Jezel about Gabrielle's whereabouts. Jezel reluctantly leads Rambo to the club where Gabrielle was last seen and confronts El Flako, the man who last spoke with Gabrielle.

El Flako leads Rambo to the location of the kidnappers while being followed by a mysterious woman, not before being immediately confronted and beaten by the cartel. They steal his driving license, getting to know the locations of Rambo's farmhouse and a photo of Gabrielle, whom Victor recognizes. Unaware of Rambo's brutality, the cartel vow to mistreat Gabrielle further due to Rambo's actions to break him.

The mysterious woman reveals her identity as Carmen Delgado, who is an independent journalist reporting the deeds of the Martinez siblings who had kidnapped and murdered her sister. Rambo later raids the brothel, killing several men until he finds a drugged Gabrielle. On the way back home, Rambo thanks Gabrielle for giving him hope for ten years before she dies from the forced overdose.

Rambo sends Maria away and rigs the ranch with traps for a confrontation, later returning to Mexico to ask Carmen's help in finding Victor. Carmen refuses initially, believing it will solve nothing but is convinced after Rambo appeals to her grief and frustrations.

Rambo raids Victor's home, killing several guards and decapitating Victor while he is taking a shower. In retaliation and realizing he and his brother mistake for underestimating Rambo, Hugo leads a group of heavily armed hitmen to Rambo's ranch, where each falls victim to the rigged traps. Saving Hugo for the last, Rambo mutilates him and rips his heart out, ending the heartless monster for good as well as his crime organization. In the aftermath, a weakened Rambo sits on the porch of his father's house, vowing to continue fighting and keep the memories of his loved ones alive. During the credits, flashbacks to scenes from the first four movies in the franchise are shown, with Rambo finally saddling up his horse and riding off into the sunset.


See also

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